Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Depressed husband (long sorry)

(43 Posts)
PinkHairbrush Mon 27-May-13 22:49:50

I’m really at my wit’s end and I’m not sure what to do. I’m looking for any advice really, on how to improve our relationship or whether this is as good as its going to get.

DH and I have been married for 7 years, he has been depressed pretty much the entire length of our marriage – the early years were spent convincing him to go to the doctors, then his family to support him… we have periods of stability and of crisis – a crisis around the time our DD was born leading to his demotion at work, prolonged time off, his going missing and me calling the police out, and finally resigning his job. A few months into his dream MSc course he has had to defer, and since Jan has pretty much been lying in bed all day and playing computer games late into the night.

Our relationship has been growing more problematic. Since he hit rock bottom - a year and a half – things have been going from bad to worse. I bear the brunt of his anger and disappointment.

I know that I am frequently angry, bitter and officious - and (according to DH) say very cruel things and don't care for him. I’m worried that actually I am the one with the problem: that because of his depression I expect too much from him, that I shouldn’t be putting pressure on him at all. I am also worrying that my anger and my slowness to get full-time paid work are really the main issues causing the problems in our marriage.

Tonight I got cross with him because he couldn’t tell me what he wanted to do with the evening – spend it with me, help out with some jobs, do some of his freelance work, etc. He said that he can’t take this much more, that our relationship is too dysfunctional to work. I ask him what he wants, he says he doesn’t know.

I had PND and am naturally a shy, retiring type (writing this has taken a lot of courage) and struggle to keep on top of the housework, work, bring up DD, have a good relationship with DH, and generally find balance. DH couldn’t cope with the PND, told me it wasn’t proper depression, and said the other night that he didn’t think that being in a relationship meant dealing with the other persons’ issues and neediness.

I’m really struggling to know what to do here to make things better. I don’t want to continue in this way. So far I’ve suggested marriage guidance but he doesn’t want it. He is on the waiting list (yet again) for psychotherapy. I try ways to help him in his depression, like encouraging him in little things and giving him small jobs to do, but he says that is nagging and bullying. I’ve tried talking but we just go round in circles. I know I get angry, and he says that I make everything his problem and his responsibility, but I know I don't. Sometimes I think of walking away, but I would rather work on things and try to help DH get well.

skyeskyeskye Mon 27-May-13 22:56:46

he said the other night that he didn’t think that being in a relationship meant dealing with the other persons’ issues and neediness.

but it is Ok for you to have to deal with all of his many problems hmm

OP - the situation sounds awful for you. He may be depressed, but he also sounds extremely lazy. Just because he is depressed, it doesnt mean he has to lie in bed and play games all day. I have been suffering with depression for the past year due to XH walking out with no warning. I hit rock bottom, but I have still had to get on with everything as I have a 5yo DD to get to school each day and work to get on with too.

You have had PND, yet you have had to struggle on. How dare he belittle your illness and say it is not proper depression?!

To be honest and I rarely say LTB - it sounds like you would be better off without him.

If he is genuinely ill, then he should be on some sort of medication and treatment. I see that he is waiting for pshycotherapy. I

At the moment, it just looks like he wants to act like a sulky teenager and not like a husband.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 27-May-13 23:00:26

I googled this. hth.

www.wikihow.com/Help-Your-Spouse-With-Depression

MrsFrederickWentworth Mon 27-May-13 23:01:40

One of the symptoms if depression is to sleep. Alistair Campbell writes that he slept for 6 months. But that does not involve computer games.

DH is off with stress atm. Feel free to pm.me because a lot of what you say rings bells.

pictish Mon 27-May-13 23:03:21

he said the other night that he didn’t think that being in a relationship meant dealing with the other persons’ issues and neediness

Unless it's you dealing with his eh? Then it's just fine.

Depressed or not, this man is a self indulgent lazy shit.

robyn2 Mon 27-May-13 23:33:33

Sorry to say it but it sounds like youve been living a dogs life for way too long and your post doesnt offer any encouragement that your situation is going to change. The worst thing is that now your even starting to look to yourself as the cause of the problems (crazy)??? I hope your DD is not too affected by DH's dreadful situation and impossible behaviour and of course your own frustrations.

You obviously love or perhaps care greatly for your DH. Depression is a terrible thing and im not convinced your going to be able to help your DH anymore than you have tried to already? Start looking at your future? Can you really see your relationship suddenly changing into a positive happy one? Can you/should you stick another 7 years of the same? Or should you now look to face the toughest task by finding the courage to change your life into a happy one? Can you even remember what its like to be in a happy relationship with a man that looks after you? Someone that you can lean on and who shares lifes troubles? Dont leave it too long is all i say

calmingtea Tue 28-May-13 08:11:52

You are his emotional punchbag, and the relationship is one sided where you support him and he lashes out at you. Depression is not an excuse for bad behaviour. If nothing changes you will feel worse and worse. It is ok to start putting your own needs and wants first, that is what your H is already doing he didn’t think that being in a relationship meant dealing with the other persons’ issues and neediness. He may really have depression, however, four things about what (IMO). Firstly, there are lots of people with depression who manage to function to some extent in the world (e.g. Alistair Campbell) they ask for and get help and learn to . Secondly, it is easy for depression to become a get out of jail free clause for atrocious treatment of your spouse. Third, if you stay in this situation as it is you may well find that you become more and more ill yourself, because your life is not one that is in anyway nice or easy. Fourth, you need to start thinking whether you can envisage yourself if this situation in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years. He has no incentive to try and get better, and after 7 years it is likely this is the way your life will stay if you don't make changes. Staying in this marriage as it is will affect you and will affect your children. Start thinking about what you want out of life and start making decisions to get there. It is time to start living your life and breaking free, even if that is just in the way you behave and feel. Stop pandering to him, he is talking nonsense and frankly being just a little bit emotionally abusive. And you do not need to put up with this. Marriage should be mutually supportive and mutually enjoyable, not a misery fest.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 28-May-13 08:18:58

If you take the depression out of the equation what you're left with is a fundamentally selfish man that cares nothing for anyone else. It's clear that, in his eyes, your needs are totally unimportant in comparison to his, there is very little respect and he regards you with open contempt. Depression obviously changes people's behaviour but it does not excuse it.

I think you've been very tolerant so far but that, unless you are resigned to being the one that makes all the effort in the relationship and either gets nothing back or is expected to stand there and be insulted, there isn't much of a future in this.

calmingtea Tue 28-May-13 08:35:57

BTW quite a good support forum for people living with depression is: depressionfalloutmessageboard.yuku.com/

calmingtea Tue 28-May-13 08:36:19

Living with people with depression, doh.

Ilikethebreeze Tue 28-May-13 09:13:46

But she cant try taking the depression out of the equation can she?
She would have a different husband.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 28-May-13 09:20:11

At the moment, the OP is putting up with all kinds of crap because this big thing 'depression' is being played as the sacred cow, the trump card.... the reason why no-one is allowed to challenge or object to quite appalling behaviour. This is wrong and I don't think it's doing the DH any favours. Whilst certain allowances have to be made for illness, it does not give anyone carte blanche to act like a selfish bully.

If this man could not point to depression the OP would not feel obliged to tolerate it. I'm simply saying that she should do that anyway...

Mollydoggerson Tue 28-May-13 09:26:31

what exactly are you getting out of this relationship? What benefits is your daughter getting from having him sleeping all day?

quietlysuggests Tue 28-May-13 09:39:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ilikethebreeze Tue 28-May-13 09:50:32

op, I would read up about depression.
Please be aware that many posters have no idea about it and no experience.

pictish Tue 28-May-13 09:52:31

Agree with cogito.

OldernotWiser47 Tue 28-May-13 10:05:31

Hi, Hairbrush- I know exactly where you're coming from. My Ex had Bipolar, and had the most awful depression a lot of the time, and he also did not function. He would get increasingly nasty and verbally abusive if I asked for things done or decisions, because he was feeling overwhelmed, but that did not change the fact that I had a full time professional job, 3 children, and he was doing nothing, no house work, no cooking, my older children often dressed and fed the little one, then got him out of bed to take DD2 to school and DS to nursery- only found that out after separation sad. They thought that was normal/ expected of them sad sad
We (all of us!) made excuse after excuse for him, but in the end it was like trying to live life dragging a ball and chain with you at all times. I had to give up, or drown, there's only so long you can do this- and 7 years are definitely way beyond.
I agree with Cogito- to a great degree he chooses to be like this, it is called "secondary gain". He has no incentive to change, at the moment he gets to lie in bed, not take responsibility for anything incl himself, behave badly, and do what he likes.
Time to get tough- shape up or ship out. There is no excuse for malingering and refusing treatment, at this point he does not get the choice anymore, and he can't continue to bail out of reality forever because he can't cope. He needs to learn to cope, with or without you.

I'm afraid for me it ended badly- when I got firm, he got violent. I now have a lovely, helpful, respectful, mentally healthy partner, but life was so much easier straight away!
It is not your fight to fight, it's his. Good luck!

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 28-May-13 10:11:25

"Please be aware that many posters have no idea about it and no experience."

And many of us have had exactly the same experience at the OP and learned some valuable lessons.

badinage Tue 28-May-13 10:20:35

The thing to remember with depression is that just like any other illness, it affects selfish, unkind and irresponsible people just as much as it affects decent, kind people who take personal responsibility for their health. What it doesn't do is completely erase pre-existent negative personality traits so what you're seeing now is unlikely to be completely attributable to his illness. If he's got a selfish, lazy or entitled personality anyway that will be there in the mix too.

He is responsible for his health and for seeking treatment for his condition. If he won't, you've got some choices to make about how you want you and your children to live your lives.

But don't make the mistake of thinking that his character and personality have got nothing to do with this, because they have.

forumdonkey Tue 28-May-13 10:21:10

I have been in your situation OP and my heart goes out to you. I know the complete and utter turmoil of needing to do right thing because of the depression and the guilt that goes with it.

My exh was depressed and this resulted in 2 years of complete and utter misery for me and my DC. He was angry, violent (towards me only), EA and suffered health anxiety but was reluctant to seek advice or take medication for his depression.

That was nearly 6 years ago and I had him removed by the police and I divorced him for the sake of my DC's who were as affected by his irrational, violent behaviour as I was. It was the right thing to do and I have no regret.

Good luck OP

pictish Tue 28-May-13 10:22:15

"Please be aware that many posters have no idea about it and no experience."

Please also be aware that Ilikethebreeze has absolutely no idea what people on here have experience in or not.

pictish Tue 28-May-13 10:30:03

And to be fair to Ilikethebreeze she is quite right - there is a lot of ignorance and sensation surrounding this subject...so she's not wrong saying what she did.

It's just that sometimes people have a wealth of experience of it too, amdperhaps their experience was not a life enhancing one, to say the least.

We are not obliged to put up with shit treatment owing to someone else's depression.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 28-May-13 10:30:08

Ilikethebreeze - my DH and I are both being treated for depression at the moment. How about if we both decided to behave like lazy, entitled twats? Who would earn the money, run the house, care for our children?

OP - I really think that you have to ask yourself whether you want to stay in your marriage. Your DH is being vile to you, depression is not an excuse to behave badly to the people who love you. Is he on any medication?

AnyFucker Tue 28-May-13 10:32:42

After 7 years of being treated like this, with him taking no responsibility for it at all, the reasons WHY are no longer relevant

Decide whether you want to live like this or not, then act accordingly

Ilikethebreeze Tue 28-May-13 10:50:26

What I am trying to say, perhaps not very well, is that depression is going to play a part, maybe and probably a big part.
But that does not mean that the other partner, be they male or female, runs for the hills.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now